Rapisarda Autosport Dominate New Year's Thunder

6 January 2020

Rapisarda Autosport Dominate New Year's Thunder

Wayne Newby has begun 2020 in the best way possible, taking a 400 Thunder Top Fuel victory and leading a Rapisarda Autosport International clean sweep at Willowbank Raceway's New Year's Thunder event on Saturday.

 

Newby defeated team mate Damien Harris in the final round, with a time of 3.863 seconds. West Australian Harris was actually quicker than New South Wales' Newby with a 3.841 time but trailed his comrade after a tardy reaction time to the green light cost him almost a full tenth of a second on the start line.

 

The Rapisarda team completed a clean sweep of the event in front of the near capacity crowd, with the team's third driver – America's Ashley Sanford – clocking the quickest elapsed time (3.827) and fastest speed (504.30kmh) of the night's racing.

 

Queensland driver Gary Phillips showed his veteran experience in an entertaining Pro Alcohol final against rookie driver Jake Donnelly. Both drivers spun their tyres at the start line and had to recover their 3000 horsepower, supercharged Funny Cars. Phillips was first to find traction and reaped the dividends, with a winning time of 6.583 seconds far from setting any records but enough to clinch the 400 Thunder trophy and deny Donnelly his first win.

 

The tropical conditions made tuning challenging for the Pro Stock teams but Queensland's own Tyronne Tremayne was able to master Willowbank Raceway on his way to his first victory in the team's new Camaro.

 

Tremayne waited until the final round to unleash a 7.004 second pass, the quickest run of the day in Pro Stock, to defeat fellow Queenslander Wayne Daley's valiant 7.078.

 

While Tremayne's performance was what earned him praise, fellow Pro Stock racer Jason Hedges received plenty of accolades after saving his car from a big accident when his parachutes were late to deploy. Hedges flirted with the concrete safety barriers but thankfully kept his Pontiac clean and undamaged from the dramatic moment.

 

Pro Bike saw a surprise winner as Queensland's Andrew Badcock upset more fancied rivals to take his first victory of the season. Badcock's motorcycle uses a custom Suzuki Hayabusa motor built by Badcock himself and with a combination of consistent performance and great reaction times, he took the machine to the winner's circle. A time of 7.570 seconds in the final round got by Victoria's Glenn Wooster.

 

The action never stopped on the track with the 400 Thunder sportsman racers also delivering top quality competition across the night. Driving to victories were Tanya Thompson (Pro Radial), Kellie Kidd (Modified), Tammy Goldthorpe (Modified Bike), Patrick Barron (Super Gas), Wade Moran (Super Street) and Jaidyn Seng (Junior Dragster).

 

As the 400 Thunder series heads on to Sydney, Willowbank Raceway looks forward to a full 2020 calendar, which includes the commencement of the Queensland Drag Racing Series on February 8 and the Nostalgia Drags on February 22.

 

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